BELLUS HEALTH COMPLETES RESTRUCTURING INITIATIVES WITH REPATRIATION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TO CANADA
Strategic initiatives to reduce burn rate now fully implemented
LAVAL, QC, March 31 /CNW Telbec/ - BELLUS Health Inc. (TSX: BLU) ("BELLUS Health" or the "Company") today announced that it has completed its restructuring and strategic initiatives to extend the Company's financial resources and reduce its fixed-cost base. The previously announced reorganization process whereby the Company streamlined its international structure by liquidating its subsidiaries in Europe and the United States has been completed today. The reorganization resulted in the repatriation of BELLUS Health's intellectual property to Canada and the reduction of the Company's operating expenses ("burn rate") by approximately $1.4 million per year.
"With the completion of the reorganization, we have now fully deployed our restructuring and strategic initiatives to extend the Company's financial resources and reduce its fixed-cost base," said Roberto Bellini, President and Chief Executive Officer of BELLUS Health. "Together, the initiatives implemented are expected to decrease the Company's burn rate to approximately $0.4 million per month in the second quarter of 2011. With a leaner and more cost-effective organizational structure, BELLUS Health is now much more solidly positioned to efficiently move its products forward, including KIACTA™ which is proceeding on schedule in its confirmatory Phase III clinical trial," Mr. Bellini concluded.
During 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, BELLUS Health put in place a series of initiatives to reduce its burn rate. In August 2010, the Company announced it would be focusing on supporting its current and future strategic partnerships and on undertaking less expensive product development programs for NRM8499. As a result, BELLUS Health significantly reduced its head count and is expected to have approximately 10 full-time employees by the end of second quarter 2011. In January 2011, the Company exercised its right to terminate the lease for its premises in Laval, Quebec. The Company has signed a new lease that will begin on April 8th at the same premises for less space, thereby reducing its operating costs by approximately $4.5 million per year.
About BELLUS Health
BELLUS Health is a development-focused health company concentrating on research and development of products that provide innovative health solutions and address critical unmet medical needs. For further information on BELLUS Health and its drug development programs, please visit www.bellushealth.com or call the toll-free number 1-877-680-4500.
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this news release, other than statements of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, may constitute forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they are on the current expectations of management, inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown, many of which are beyond BELLUS Health Inc.'s control. Such risks include but are not limited to: the impact of general economic conditions, general conditions in the pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which the BELLUS Health Group does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation, that actual results may vary once the final and quality-controlled verification of data and analyses has been completed, as well as other risks disclosed in public filings of BELLUS Health Inc. Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in the forward-looking statements. The reader should not place undue reliance, if any, on any forward-looking statements included in this news release. These statements speak only as of the date made and BELLUS Health Inc. is under no obligation and disavows any intention to update or revise such statements as a result of any event, circumstances or otherwise, unless required by applicable legislation or regulation. Please see the Annual Information Form of BELLUS Health Inc. for further risk factors that might affect the BELLUS Health Group and its business.
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